My real estate clients are always delighted to hear that you don’t have to live on Oswego Lake to enjoy it.
So are my readers. My blog on “How You Can Enjoy Lake Oswego Without Buying a Waterfront Home” that I posted in 2011 is one of my most-visited entries.
What’s the secret? Well, besides the two swim parks on the lake that provide residents with swim access, and view lots that come with, well, a view, there are properties that come with deeded lake access privileges through easements. That means you can use the lake for swimming, boating, canoeing, paddle boarding, even if you don’t live on the lake! But there are some caveats.
Here’s what you need to know.
- There are 3,000 non-waterfront homes in Lake Oswego with deeded access to join one
of the lakefront easements for boating and recreational use.
- There are 20 easements located all around the lake.
- These lake privileges date back to rights deeded by the Oregon Iron and Steel Company and are tied to actual property addresses. They cannot be transferred, sold, or purchased other than when a new homebuyer purchases that particular piece of property.
- The facilities vary from easement to easement. The Village on the Lake easement at 1565 Bayview Lane, for example offers a slide, diving board, water trampoline, two barbecues, picnic tables and chairs, community canoe and kayak, showers and changing area along with 25 boat slips, and 42 canoe/paddleboard racks. The Maple Circle easement at 16901 Maple Circle doesn’t have any boat slips but does have space for 18 canoe/kayak/paddleboards, picnic tables, benches and chairs.
- Fees also vary from easement to easement. Currently, initiation fees range from $5,000 at Springbrook Recreation at 2720 Summit Drive to $100 for the Lakewood Yacht Club at 300 Ridgeway; however, there can also be annual fees, powerboat fees, swim only fees, and fees for canoes, paddleboards and kayaks.
- Joining an easement does not guarantee that you will be able to secure a boat slip or storage rack for your canoe or paddleboard. There are waiting lists at many of these easements for those privileges so it’s important to look into that if you’re considering purchasing a home because of its easement rights. At the Goodin easement, for example, at 3050 Lakeview Boulevard, there is a waiting list of 44 members for a boat slip and 73 for a kayak or canoe rack.
- Just because you can’t secure a boat slip in your easement, as a member, you do have day-use rights and can drop your boat into the lake at the Lake Corporation marina as long as you meet the criteria listed on their website. You can also moor a boat at LO Landing, located in the two-story office building next to the LOC marina. They may also have a waiting list, but typically their slips turn over more rapidly than those at the easements. You can reach them at 503 545-8870 or email@example.com
- Just because you live close to an easement, doesn’t mean your home has deeded access. And some homes have deeded access to more than one easement like this listing of mine or this one. So be sure to check the easement maps provided on the Lake Corporation website to determine which one, if any, comes with your property.
- With the easement benefits come some responsibilities, like clean-up detail too, but these events provide yet another opportunity to get to know some of your neighbors.
- Easements can add true value to a home, enriching the quality of life you experience as a resident of Lake Oswego. Educated home buyers know to add that to their criteria if that’s important to them. While you might end up paying a little more for a house that comes with easement rights, you will likely make it up at the back end when you are ready to sell. And in the meantime, you’ll have years of enjoyment that current easement members consider well worth it!
If you would like to buy a home in Lake Oswego with easement rights, give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or check out my website. I’d love to put my over 30 years’ experience as a Realtor to work for you and share my love of Lake Oswego and lake living with you as well!